International orienteering experts’ consensus on the definition, development, cause, impact and methods to reduce mental fatigue in orienteering: A Delphi study

Nicholas Lam, John Sproule, Tony Turner, Paul Murgatroyd, Graham Gristwood, Hugh Richards, Shaun Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Orienteering is an outdoor activity wherein participants use a map and compass to locate control points and choose the quickest path to the next control point in a natural environment. Attentional focus, rapid decision-making, and high aerobic fitness may influence orienteering performance. Therefore, this research aimed to seek international orienteering expert consensus regarding the definition, development, causes, influences and methods to reduce mental fatigue (MF) in orienteering based on practical experience. Following ethical approval, a three-round Delphi survey was conducted online with twenty-four orienteering coaches and athletes (or former athletes) from 10 different countries with international orienteering competition experience. The threshold of consensus was ≥ 70% agreement among respondents. The experts agreed that MF exists in daily life and orienteering with a substantial negative effect on their conscious decision-making performance and psychological responses. The experts disagreed that the form of MF that athletes experienced in orienteering training are similar to the competition. However, there was no agreement that MF would impact endurance and high-speed running performance during orienteering. This research refines the definition of MF and summarises the distinctions in what causes MF in orienteering training and competition, implying that MF should be addressed separately.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2595-2607
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume40
Issue number23
Early online date10 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cognitive fatigue
  • decision-making
  • map reading
  • mental exertion
  • navigation

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